27 June, 2006

The Homeless Guy & I Have Something In Common

The Homeless Guy commented that he likes the blog skin because it reminds him of a sorely-longed-for swimming pool.

Homeless Guy, I totally agree. I miss swimming pools. I love swimming pools more than just about anything in the world. They're my favourite way to exercise, my favourite place to read.

I love the sharp smell of chlorine mixed with hot concrete.

I should join the Y. Which brings up another point...Kevin says he wishes he had access to a swimming pool. Does the Y have a homeless fitness program? I would think this might not be an altogether bad idea for the downtown Y--free memberships (or at least day passes) for the homeless.

Because, after all, the "C" does stand for Christian. What could be more Christian than providing homeless people with a place to shower, get some exercise and a bite to eat?


At 6:09 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Mister Nashville said...

While I don't think they have a free program, I know they do offer discounted rates depending on income. I, and I'm sure others, would be willing to pay the $12 a month or so for a discounted membership in order for a homeless person to shower and exercise. Sounds like a good program to start, huh?

At 10:16 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But don't you think this crosses the line between charity and, well, something much more than charity? Don't get me wrong. I'll be the first in line to help someone who's truly down on their luck and in need of some assistance with the necessities of life. Food? Clothing? A roof over their head? A shot at a decent job? You bet! But a membership to the Y? Please.

What's next? Government subsidized pedicures? (After all, standing all day to beg for beer money is murder on the feet...) I can just see it now: "Sorry Mr. Caseworker, but I couldn't keep that appointment for that job interview 'cause I had a spin class."

If we conservatives hope to convince people that the private sector can do a better job than the government when it comes to providing for the needy and implementing social programs we should probably try to do better than advocating gym memberships for homeless people. Perhaps something that would help create motivation and assist them in building a life in which they could someday pay for their own gym membership. And when they do, they'd better stay out of the lap lanes if they're not swimmin' laps!

At 2:17 PM, June 28, 2006, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

For many of the homeless, it's not food, or clothing, or a job, that will inspire them to leave the streets. Sometimes, it's their soul which has to be brought back to life. People let jobs and homes and families etc, go away, because they no longer care whether they live or die. Renew in homeless people the sense that life is worth living, and you'll see a dramatic drop in homelessness.

And the opportunity to get away from the homeless environment, by perhaps allowing them the chance to splash into refreshing waters, just may do the trick. For other homeless people it may be something else than a dip in the pool. You just have to get to know the individual homeless person to find out what their dying soul longs for.

At 1:59 PM, July 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great point, Homeless Guy.

From a purely economic standpoint -- the lack of shower facilities bears upon the homeless man or woman's ability to perform basic hygiene on which many jobs depend. It seems to me that we are quick to insist that everyone work for a living and slow to make accessible the preconditions for this to happen.


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